More tolkienesque settings?

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t-tauri
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Postby t-tauri » Wed May 31, 2006 5:37 pm

Spongly wrote:If you want a game like D&D and a setting like Greyhawk, there's already the perfect game out there - D&D in the world of Greyhawk. Now I agree that Glorantha shouldn't be the only setting for RQ (I like the sound of both Lankhmar and Warlords of Britain for instance), but it would, I think, be fairly pointless to release yet another standard fantasy setting with Elves in the forests, Dwarves in the mountains and so on. That's more likely to put off prospective players than any amount of Gloranthan weirdness.
Spot on. The Grey Mouser, Conan, Harald Hardrada, Harrek the Berserk epitomise RQ not another sub-Tolkien pastiche, cliche ridden, hack fantasy setting.
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Postby andakitty » Wed May 31, 2006 6:09 pm

Well, I have wanted a 'standard' fantasy setting for years, with a system I consider playable. That leaves D&D out in the cold. Greyhawk is as wierd as Glorantha, just not as much fun. I am no Gygax fan.

I would like to see MRQ succeed big...with a standard fantasy setting. There is a market for such a thing. It does NOT have to be something with the Glorantha setting. The reason I am so excited about this is that it promises to be a playable fantasy system that need not be tied to Glorantha.

D&D and Greyhawk are....unthinkable. I own NO D20 stuff. By offering something besides D20 Mongoose will be getting my business for the first time. And I ain't the only one out here.
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Postby estarriol » Wed May 31, 2006 7:04 pm

andakitty wrote:Well, I have wanted a 'standard' fantasy setting for years, with a system I consider playable. That leaves D&D out in the cold. Greyhawk is as wierd as Glorantha, just not as much fun. I am no Gygax fan.
Write your own, Runequest was a very adaptable set of rules, the biggest problem to it being applied to another world is the heavy influence of Gods and religeon and the Rune magic.
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Postby andakitty » Wed May 31, 2006 7:40 pm

Been there, done that. My point is that I believe (hope) the MRQ ruleset will be able to support traditional fantasy as well as Glorantha. I haven't as much time as I once did...
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Postby Archer » Wed May 31, 2006 11:27 pm

Spongly wrote:
Archer wrote:
Lieutenant Rasczak wrote:What is this obsession with Tolkien, I find him overly verbose and tiresome at best!

Howards Conan books, now theres a setting (and one Mongoose already have the rights to)!

What about Moorcock, in MHO his worlds are some of the most exciting for gaming!
I do not disagree about Conan or Moorcock (I am a huge fan of Moorcocks books).
However, I want at least one setting that is more "standard" fantasy ala Tolkien or D&D's Forgotten Realms/Greyhawk.
If you want a game like D&D and a setting like Greyhawk, there's already the perfect game out there - D&D in the world of Greyhawk. Now I agree that Glorantha shouldn't be the only setting for RQ (I like the sound of both Lankhmar and Warlords of Britain for instance), but it would, I think, be fairly pointless to release yet another standard fantasy setting with Elves in the forests, Dwarves in the mountains and so on. That's more likely to put off prospective players than any amount of Gloranthan weirdness.
No, there is not. I have after 5 years of d20 become allergic to the system, and I want to have something else, something like RQs system instead. But I still like to have a standard fantasy setting to use, in the style of Forgotten Realms, Greyhawk, Middle Earth, Ereb Altor, The Old World etc.
Not only to play in, but to use as a camparison for the settings I am going to create for RQ as well.

Well, I do not think it has to be a full-fledged setting with its own line etc. Look at D&D, greyhawk gets only occassional information i the general Rule/Class/etc. splat books. This would be the perfect way to introduce a standard fantasy setting. Let it be part of the RQ system books (those that are not setting specific).

If RQ is going to be an open game license system, then it could do well with some general books, so that setting makers have something to use, or at least use as a foundation.
Last edited by Archer on Thu Jun 01, 2006 12:04 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Archer » Wed May 31, 2006 11:46 pm

t-tauri wrote:Spot on. The Grey Mouser, Conan, Harald Hardrada, Harrek the Berserk epitomise RQ not another sub-Tolkien pastiche, cliche ridden, hack fantasy setting.
You have a very hard time imagining something else than a hack fest do you, for a standard fantasy setting?
(seen you mention that several times on this forum already as a response to the words "standard fantasy").

I think you are to blinded by the mentioning of the acronym "D&D" in order to see something else. So I will turn the tables and say then - a setting of standard fantasy like; WFRP, DoD's Ereb Altor (if you happen to be swedish), Eon's Mundana (if you happen to be swedish), Harn, Warcraft, Midnight, Arrowflight, etc.

In short; A setting where the beings in it are made of flesh and bone (not plants, not clay), where things are not weird, twisted beyond recognition or so that it becomes plain silly, just to make a setting that is "unique". Basically what I call a Type 1A Fantasy setting.

I have plenty of unique settings in my RPG collection. Thing is, over the years, they have not been played as much as those that are more easy to get new players into.
Unique settings are fine, but not for getting new players into the hobby. They need something that is easy to digest. Like it or not, tolkien established something that has become quite known and popular, and most new players I come across have read his books. So a setting that has strong similarities tend to get the new players attention and intrest much easier than the odd and weird settings (such as Talislanta as an example).
And that is just from my point of perspective as a GM.
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Postby t-tauri » Thu Jun 01, 2006 1:41 am

Archer wrote:You have a very hard time imagining something else than a hack fest do you, for a standard fantasy setting?
(seen you mention that several times on this forum already as a response to the words "standard fantasy").
Well I'm glad you can put my 32 years of gaming down as nothing but a hackfest. I've been there, seen it, played it and GMed it. Talislanta, Jorune, Empire of the Petal Throne, Ringworld, Cthulhu. Done it all. Even D&D, though I've not played new D&D or D20.

I've been playing RQ since the late seventies and I'd like to think I've played it and run it for the Role playing and not the hacking. Hack and slash RQ tends to be a very short game. That's why it suits the "nasty, brutish and short" aspects of the more realistic gritty fantasy. I like the realistic element of RQ combat, that even the best fighter can fall to the wrong opponent. That combat isn't just about rolling dice or hurling fireballs, that there's a tactical element to it.

Glorantha with the right culture is easy to introduce to a new player. The Orlanthi and Praxian cultures are very similar to earth cultures and easy to introduce. Prax can be run as a Clint Eastwood western without the guns.

The people of Glorantha are flesh and bone, I think you have a grave misunderstanding of the setting if you think RQ is about weird plant men. It's not Jorune or Tekumel with bizarre inhuman things (Dragonewts excepted, of course). Most of the playable races have very understandable motivations.

You seem to have a desire to produce a setting which clones D&D or apes LotR. Why not just use the mechanics in those settings? Your new players will know the background after all?
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Postby andakitty » Thu Jun 01, 2006 2:08 am

I want both. Weirdly enough I have a hunch that MRQ and Second Age Glorantha might supply both, a system that works with Glorantha and a system that is flexible enough to be used with other widely disparate settings.

A couple of points about two of the settings mentioned above; Tekumel has very strange lifeforms, yes, but that always sort of underscored the humanity of the humans in the setting for me. They didn't feel like something from the Wizard of Oz like the critters in Talislanta can. Fafhrd and the Grey Mouser a hackfest? I always thought it was more along the lines of the two of them getting into some mess they COULDN'T hack their way out of...at least sometimes, like the story with the animated house.

Also, with a system that emphasizes the, um, violent and sudden nature of combat with spears and swords players tend to try to think their way out of situations, or at least ambush and use missile weapons more.
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Postby Archer » Thu Jun 01, 2006 2:11 am

t-tauri wrote:
Archer wrote:You have a very hard time imagining something else than a hack fest do you, for a standard fantasy setting?
(seen you mention that several times on this forum already as a response to the words "standard fantasy").
Well I'm glad you can put my 32 years of gaming down as nothing but a hackfest. I've been there, seen it, played it and GMed it. Talislanta, Jorune, Empire of the Petal Throne, Ringworld, Cthulhu. Done it all. Even D&D, though I've not played new D&D or D20.
I think you missunderstood me. I thought it seemed like the only thing you associated with "standard fantasy" was the hack-n-slash style of play. What I meant is that there is so much more than that.
t-tauri wrote: I've been playing RQ since the late seventies and I'd like to think I've played it and run it for the Role playing and not the hacking. Hack and slash RQ tends to be a very short game. That's why it suits the "nasty, brutish and short" aspects of the more realistic gritty fantasy. I like the realistic element of RQ combat, that even the best fighter can fall to the wrong opponent. That combat isn't just about rolling dice or hurling fireballs, that there's a tactical element to it.
I agree. It is about the role-playing, no matter the setting used.
And I also agree on the deadliness of RQ combat.
t-tauri wrote: Glorantha with the right culture is easy to introduce to a new player. The Orlanthi and Praxian cultures are very similar to earth cultures and easy to introduce. Prax can be run as a Clint Eastwood western without the guns.
Some aspects of it, yes. Others are bit more difficult. And some are just to far fetched to even consider with new gamers. Show them some of the images in the Gloranthan Bestiary and they will just laugh, and not take the game very seriously. Today's generation of players have different standards when it comes to visual style, and what constitutes serious fantasy both in visual style, names, look, and feel of a setting.

Trying to introduce a newbie group to Talislanta (which pretty much is on the same wavelength in some ways) recently, turned out really bad. Luckily I managed to get some intrest from these players by showing them WFRP, and that went much smoother to ease them into.
t-tauri wrote: The people of Glorantha are flesh and bone, I think you have a grave misunderstanding of the setting if you think RQ is about weird plant men. It's not Jorune or Tekumel with bizarre inhuman things (Dragonewts excepted, of course). Most of the playable races have very understandable motivations.
Granted, I do not remember much about the setting, since it is over 18 years since I last played in Glorantha. But some of the things just strike me as very weird as I sit here and look through the old books I have.

As for the plant creatures, that is something I yet again got the impression of again, when reading about the very tafty description in the Glorantha Bestiary.
t-tauri wrote: You seem to have a desire to produce a setting which clones D&D or apes LotR. Why not just use the mechanics in those settings? Your new players will know the background after all?
Na, not really clones. Just in the similar style. Which is a sort of easy going standard fantasy that do not require a lot of depth or explanation in order to sit down and play with someone who has at least a vague grasp of what elves, orcs, dwarves are.

I have given up even touching D&D again. the d20 system in use in current edition is probably the most stuck-up, downstrapped, and suffocating system I have GMed (not counting Rulemaster).
I want to be able to GM without having to do a lot of preparation work just for NPCs statistics. I want a system so simple that I can determine stats and values on the run, if they should be needed. Try and do that with D&D or any d20, and you will have to take a recess before resuming play. To much interdependency in the system.

My desire for a baseline standard fantasy setting comes most from wanting to have RQ as a replacement for d20, and as a setting writer that wants to have something baseline to compare with when creating my own settings.
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Postby andakitty » Thu Jun 01, 2006 2:17 am

Boy, Archer, you and I are REALLY on the same wavelength.

I tried running 3.0, tried playing it. ALWAYS feels like a straightjacket.
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Postby Archer » Thu Jun 01, 2006 2:21 am

andakitty wrote:I want both. Weirdly enough I have a hunch that MRQ and Second Age Glorantha might supply both, a system that works with Glorantha and a system that is flexible enough to be used with other widely disparate settings.
It looks like that will be the case, and that is also what I really want. A system that can replace d20, in that it can be used for many settings. And also a new game for running Glorantha campaigns. I also wish there would be some really nice Asian fantasy setting (sort of like L5R's Rokugan), but that is something I guess I will have to create for my own.
andakitty wrote: A couple of points about two of the settings mentioned above; Tekumel has very strange lifeforms, yes, but that always sort of underscored the humanity of the humans in the setting for me. They didn't feel like something from the Wizard of Oz like the critters in Talislanta can. Fafhrd and the Grey Mouser a hackfest? I always thought it was more along the lines of the two of them getting into some mess they COULDN'T hack their way out of...at least sometimes, like the story with the animated house.
Talislanta sure is weird. But in some ways, I think it is even less weird than Glorantha, because it has not even cared about the standard fare creatures of tolkienesqe fantasy, and as such, it does not feel like such a broken mix and match. However, it is a setting that is not the best to start a new group of players with.

I have not read the Ffard and Grey Mouser books, but well some of the comics. Really liked it. But if I am going to choose a setting were we have primarily only humans (as I have understood Lankhmar to be), then I would chose the Hyborian Age, Conans world. And I really hope that Mongoose gets into doing a dual system setting, if they do not intend to skip the d20 version altogether (unlikely).
andakitty wrote: Also, with a system that emphasizes the, um, violent and sudden nature of combat with spears and swords players tend to try to think their way out of situations, or at least ambush and use missile weapons more.
Or get a really large and good shield.
Or get the best armour they can get, even though they can barely stand, walk, or even fight in it.
And so on.
Well, I guess I am not the only one who have seen what player try to do, instead of doing the correct thing; run away or fight smart.
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Postby Archer » Thu Jun 01, 2006 2:24 am

andakitty wrote:Boy, Archer, you and I are REALLY on the same wavelength.

I tried running 3.0, tried playing it. ALWAYS feels like a straightjacket.
It would seem so.
I have been forced to run d20 since 2000, as some of the groups I GM for wont even touch anything else. That is until I got them to try Legend of the Five Rings, using its original non-d20 system and eventually WFRP2. I now plan on a coup with one of the groups, converting the Eberron campaign to RQ, and finally enjoy blissful freedom from the shackles of the d20 system. I also believe that RQ can be a very good fit for Eberron, as long as you can get a good Action Point system that allows characters to do cinematically heroic things when needed.
But even if not that is the case, RQ will do fine for a more dark and grim'n-gritty campaign i Eberron (which is perfectly fine in that setting).
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Postby Flecha » Thu Jun 01, 2006 7:49 am

t-tauri wrote:RuneQuest is Glorantha. Anything else is just a waste of time.
To rebut this rather strict argument, I'd like to make some history of rpgs.

When D&D first got out, Greg Stafford was already creating his Glorantha (remember, your Glorantha can differ, but Glorantha is as Stafford's as Middle-Earth is Tolkien's). He wanted to create a true narrative RPG, differing with the initial trend, i.e., D&D. But he thought it to be such a daunting task that he and Lynn Sillis created the Basic Role Playing, as the system of Runequest (and Call of Cthulhu, and others) is known. He then used it to make the first rpg in Glorantha, and Runequest was born. Of course, they used it for other similar things, like the Vikings campaign, because the system is generic, not only for Glorantha.

Now, as you can see, Runequest, the Basic Roleplaying system has been used in other games. Call of Cthulhu is the most prominent example of Runequest-withouth-Glorantha. And it is clearly far from a waste of time. Try to say the contrary, and you'll have hal the internet upon you! :wink:

Fastforward to 2000. Greg Stafford releases under his company, Issaries, the game Hero Wars, the best narrative system to date (and what should be the real trend for 21st century gaming), developed by no other than Robin D. Laws. And in the words of Stafford, the dream from all those years back fullfilled, since it's a game in Glorantha, and precisely the game he had envisioned for Glorantha. In other words, what the creator of Glorantha wanted for it instead of Runequest.

So, it seems that Runequest is great for Glorantha, and for other things too. :wink:
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Postby Flecha » Thu Jun 01, 2006 8:07 am

wartorn wrote: That's the danger. Glorantha has the potential to kill this new release if it isn't de-emphasized early. If the average gamer sees one image of a duck wielding a crossbow or a yellow elf with leaves for hair they'll throw the enitre system onto the great heap of niche and satirical settings, whereupon it will slide down and come to rest beside its dusty old friends Tunnels & Trolls and Aftermath. We may feel the two are inseparable but it doesn't serve Mongoose Publishing to make that so. As distasteful as it may be, MRQ needs dual-wielding dark elves ASAP
Then explain me why it worked the first time? And how and elf with leaves would be "satirical" ?

If the point is that new gamers (those youngsters who think they know everything :wink: ), are used to the "seriousnes" of D&D. A game that get the impression of "seriousness" because the characters are very powerful and kill a lot. Yeah, right. That's like believing that if you draw a comic with people with big eyes you've already caught the spirit and language of Manga... :wink:

Glorantha is a perfectly valid setting, more interesting than many others, like that shiny new world of D&D, "Aberration", and if someone is so naïve as to find it silly looking one picture, he or she doesn't deserve to enjoy it. As we say in Spain, the honey wasn't made for the donkey's mouth! :wink:
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Postby t-tauri » Thu Jun 01, 2006 8:35 am

Crichton wrote:
t-tauri wrote:RuneQuest is Glorantha. Anything else is just a waste of time.
To rebut this rather strict argument, I'd like to make some history of rpgs.

When D&D first got out, Greg Stafford was already creating his Glorantha (remember, your Glorantha can differ, but Glorantha is as Stafford's as Middle-Earth is Tolkien's). He wanted to create a true narrative RPG, differing with the initial trend, i.e., D&D. But he thought it to be such a daunting task that he and Lynn Sillis created the Basic Role Playing, as the system of Runequest (and Call of Cthulhu, and others) is known. He then used it to make the first rpg in Glorantha, and Runequest was born. Of course, they used it for other similar things, like the Vikings campaign, because the system is generic, not only for Glorantha.
To rebut your rebuttal, in no uncertain terms.

Stafford had been working on Glorantha in stories since the fifties. The RQ RPG was created by Steve Perrin and Ray Tunney out of their experiences in the Society for Creative Anachronism simulating man to man combat and reflecting their dissatisfaction with D&D rules. Chaosium published it and used it for RPG in the already established Gloranthan world from the White Bear and Red Moon boardgame. RQ=Glorantha from day one. Stafford and Willis weren't overly involved in the RQ design. IIRC Lynn Willis wasn't even involved in the company.

Basic Role Playing per se, didn't exist until RQ second edition was published in the boxed set, IIRC at the same time as Call of Cthulhu, Worlds of Wonder etc which also had the BRP ruleset in them and on which they were based.
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Postby Archer » Thu Jun 01, 2006 9:54 am

Seems I have touched on a topic that to some are taboo or blasphemy, and to some they very idea of a new RQ system, etc., and all seem to have very strong emotions about. Well, I think that is very good. It means that there are a lot of differing intrest in the new RQ, which can only be good for the future of the game.
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Postby TrippyHippy » Thu Jun 01, 2006 10:36 am

Crichton wrote: To rebut this rather strict argument, I'd like to make some history of rpgs.

When D&D first got out, Greg Stafford was already creating his Glorantha (remember, your Glorantha can differ, but Glorantha is as Stafford's as Middle-Earth is Tolkien's). He wanted to create a true narrative RPG, differing with the initial trend, i.e., D&D. But he thought it to be such a daunting task that he and Lynn Sillis created the Basic Role Playing, as the system of Runequest (and Call of Cthulhu, and others) is known. He then used it to make the first rpg in Glorantha, and Runequest was born. Of course, they used it for other similar things, like the Vikings campaign, because the system is generic, not only for Glorantha.
Yeah, this is a revisionist history I'm afraid. And d'y'know what? The less I hear about Narrativist/Simulationist/Gamist theory in the new Runequest the better. Some of us just want a simple, fun game to socialise with our friends. So what are we going to be labelled as? Socialists?

Christ, gaming theory is gaming masterbation. "Just play it" should be the motto of 21st gaming.
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Postby Turloigh » Thu Jun 01, 2006 10:56 am

Archer wrote:Seems I have touched on a topic that to some are taboo or blasphemy, and to some they very idea of a new RQ system, etc., and all seem to have very strong emotions about.
That much is certain.
Archer wrote:Well, I think that is very good. It means that there are a lot of differing intrest in the new RQ, which can only be good for the future of the game.
Amen to that!
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Postby andakitty » Thu Jun 01, 2006 2:58 pm

I strongly second what TrippyHippy just said about gamist jargon.

And Archer, the game I referred to? About the PC's using their heads? It was Stormbringer. Shields broke and armor was a random roll, so they couldn't go that route, really. They even had to negotiate sometimes! :twisted:
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Postby Archer » Thu Jun 01, 2006 4:06 pm

andakitty wrote:I strongly second what TrippyHippy just said about gamist jargon.

And Archer, the game I referred to? About the PC's using their heads? It was Stormbringer. Shields broke and armor was a random roll, so they couldn't go that route, really. They even had to negotiate sometimes! :twisted:
Ah, I assumed it was RQ. Yes, in Stormbringer combat is very, very, very deadly. Unless you have Melnibonéan armour, and that is really not possible. So you are basically toast.
My players learned quickly to be good at parrying and dodging, and first of all, avoid combat. If you can not avoid combat, use your head and cheat as much as possible.

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